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Switzerland Reorganizes 'Sin Tax' Collection

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

28 January 2013

Switzerland has announced plans to reorganize the taxes on beer, tobacco, and spirits, and to regroup the departments involved in tax collection into one single organizational unit.

Within the framework of a total revision of the law on alcohol, the Swiss Federal Department of Finance (FDF) intends to integrate the Swiss Alcohol Board into the Swiss Customs Administration (SCA), transferring competencies relating to the taxes on beer, tobacco and spirits as well as regulations governing the alcohol market to the SCA.

The decision is to be implemented following entry into force of the revised legislation on alcohol.

Based on an analysis of "sin taxation," the FDF decided to entrust to one single organizational unit the task of applying future legislation on the taxation of spirits and the liquor trade as well as the current laws on the taxation of beer and tobacco. An alcohol and tobacco division is to be set up to assume this role within the tax department of the general customs directorate.

According to the FDF, the regrouping of the different consumption taxes within the SCA opens up a number of opportunities, notably as regards the collection of taxes. It will also reduce administrative costs on businesses and on authorities.

Preparations for this major reorganization will continue in parallel to the examination in parliament of the total revision of Switzerland's law on alcohol.

TAGS: tax | law | excise duty | food | Switzerland

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